Thursday, August 25, 2011
With the Senior Prom rapidly approaching, Amy Keith watched as one by one her girlfriends began receiving the special invitations of creative admirers. Amy wanted that, too, and believed if she waited it would happen.
As the day crept closer, Amy’s friends began trying to convince her to take the initiative to ask the guy. But she stubbornly refused. Not wanting to miss out on the best possible scenario, Amy didn't want to take control of the situation. Instead, she tried to be patient.
Many of her friends started getting their dresses. Still, Amy waited.
One day, after coming home from work, Amy got out of her car and started walking toward the front door. She began to notice glints of silver all over the grass. When Amy stopped and stooped down for a closer look, a smile spread across her face. Strewn all across the lawn were dozens, maybe hundreds, of chocolate kisses. At the front door, Amy discovered a sign that read: “Now that I’ve kissed the ground you walk on, will you go to Prom with me?" In her bedroom, she found a gorgeous bouquet of roses.
Though it’s been more than a decade since I first heard Amy tell that story, the moral lingers still. No matter what age we are, we stand to lose a marvelous sense of delight and wonder when we rush ahead and take matters into our own hands.
Hannah Whitall Smith’s book: The Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life explains a spiritual component. She wrote:
“For I am very sure that the wide divorce made between things spiritual and things temporal . . . has done more than almost anything else to hinder a realized interior union with God. It has put all religion so outside the pale of common life as to make it an almost unattainable thing to the ordinary mass of mankind. Moreover, it has introduced an unnatural constraint and stiltedness into the experience of Christians that seems to shut them out from much of the free, happy, childlike ease that belongs of right to the children of God" (p. 227).
What could be of a more fleeting nature than prom? Unnatural constraints and stiltedness might even consider this event frivolous, unnecessary—wrong. Yet, what could produce more childish delight than chocolate kisses scattered to make a statement like “you’re special.” The spiritual intertwines with the temporal producing free, happy, childlike ease. Accomplished under the authority of the Creator, waiting can turn into wonder.
Waiting for something good is one thing, but sometimes life doesn't turn out the way we hoped. How could anticipating the will of God “shed sunshine on the gloomiest paths” (as mentioned in yesterday’s post)? That’s the topic for Monday.